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  • Abnormal droppings are a non-specific sign of illness in birds. Causes may range from a dietary intake of excess fruits to bacterial or viral intestinal infections and heavy metal toxicity. Any changes in the color or consistency of your bird's droppings should be addressed by your avian veterinarian.

  • African greys are vulnerable to both calcium and/or vitamin A deficiencies, as well as obesity. Feeding a well-balanced diet and making sure your parrot consumes the proper proportions of foods offered will help prevent the development of these conditions. Pellets are the ideal food for your pet African grey and should represent approximately 75-80% of your bird's diet. The remainder of the diet should be comprised of fresh fruits, vegetables, and a small amount of seed (if any).

  • African grey parrots are highly intelligent birds and are now commonly bred in captivity as pets. The African grey has a charming personality and is recognized as one of the best talkers among all pet parrots. It is important to keep these smart birds busy, as boredom can lead to problems, such as feather picking and screaming. African greys require regular, preventative veterinary health checkups.

  • Amazons are vulnerable to calcium and vitamin A deficiencies, and when fed a predominantly seed-based diet, they are prone to obesity. Feeding a well-balanced diet in the proper proportions will help prevent the development of these conditions. This handout provides guidelines for providing your Amazon parrot with an optimal diet to thrive and flourish.

  • Some commonly kept Amazon parrots include the double yellow-headed Amazon, yellow-naped Amazon, blue-fronted Amazon, green-cheeked Amazon, and orange-winged Amazon. They bond readily, often with one member of the family. This one-on-one bond occasionally may lead to aggression towards others. Amazons are generally very affectionate and often solicit petting and head scratches. Like all pets, Amazon parrots require regular, preventative veterinary health check-ups.

  • Many reptile owners are surprised to learn that all pets, including reptiles, need at least annual checkups. A number of reptile veterinarians actually recommend checkups at least twice a year. Depending upon the species of reptile, the testing performed, and the temperament of your pet, some of these tests may require short-acting sedatives or gas anesthesia to minimize an animal’s stress level. Every visit starts with a thorough physical examination, during which your veterinarian will record your pet's weight, general appearance, and activity level. Your veterinarian will also ask you about your pet’s recent history and evaluate its diet. Just as your own regular medical visit includes blood testing, so does a checkup for a reptile. Microscopic examination of the feces allows detection of internal parasites. Using X-rays, your veterinarian can examine your pet's body for abnormalities in the size, shape, and position of body organs, screen for masses such as tumors, look for abnormal fluid accumulation, and check the bones and joints.

  • Many owners of small mammals are surprised to learn that all pets need at least an annual checkup. Exotic pet veterinarians typically recommend check-ups at least once a year for young, healthy pets and twice a year for geriatric animals. During a check-up your veterinarian may recommend diagnostic testing, including blood testing, fecal analysis, microbiological testing, and radiography. While most of diagnostic tests can be performed on awake animals, depending on the species and temperament of the pet, some exotic pet veterinarians recommend performing these tests under short-acting gas anesthesia.

  • Anorexia (a loss of appetite) and lethargy (a feeling of listlessness and general inactivity) are commonly seen in sick pet birds. While not diagnostic for any specific disease, these signs can indicate severe illness in a bird that requires immediate medical attention. Birds rarely get sick overnight. Usually birds are ill before pet owners notice outward signs of illness.

  • Aspergillosis is a fungal infection that commonly causes respiratory disease in pet birds. It can cause both upper (nose, sinuses, eye, and trachea) and lower (lungs and air sacs – a specialized part of the respiratory tract that birds have) respiratory problems or more broadly distributed systemic infections. Aspergillus is normally an environmental contaminant and is not contagious from bird to bird.

  • Bathing is very important for the proper maintenance of feathers. The dry air in our homes created by central heating and air conditioning is not conducive to the maintenance of healthy feathers and skin, so pet birds should be encouraged to bathe at least three to four times a week. This handout provides helpful tips and safety precautions for bathing your bird.